Polling on Stand Your Ground Continues Looking Good

In yet another round of evidence that our opponents bet their paychecks on a lame horse, a new Quinnipiac poll is showing that 56% of registered voters in Florida support the law. Along the racial divide, 53% of Hispanics support the law, and 56% of blacks oppose the law. There’s an even more stark division by party:

Meanwhile, support was strongest among Republicans, who supported it 78 percent to 15 percent, while independents supported it 58 percent to 35 percent. A majority of Democrats opposed it: 59 percent to 32

Strong independent support means the law is likely safe from legislative interference, provided gun owners remain vigilant on this matter. But it’s always good to be able to show legislators that polling runs in your favor.

As far as opposition from Blacks goes, I would pose this question collectively to the black community. Who is more likely to end up having to defend themselves with deadly force? A black person who lives in a lousy neighborhood, or a white person who lives in a quiet suburb? Who do you think is more likely to be forced to explain himself in front of a jury, because the prosecutor didn’t want to cut them a break? A middle class white person, who can afford a good attorney, or a poor black person who has to fall back on a public defender? Who’s case of self-defense do you think is likely to be viewed more suspiciously by authorities?

A big reason why I think the Trayvon Martin shooting resonated with the black community is because there’s an underlying, and often correct belief, that blacks don’t get a fair shake from the justice system. But Martin is one case, and I think forming an opinion on one emotionally charged case is short sighted. The fact remains that because of high levels of black-on-black violence, African-Americans are far more likely to need to defend themselves than average. Combine that with a legal system which is reluctance to offer black defendents, particularly poor blacks that can’t afford to hire good attorneys, benefit of doubt, is all the more reason for there to be mechanisms in place to make it more difficult for an ambitious prosecutor to railroad a defendant engaged in a legitimate act of self-defense. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said in a judicial opinion upholding Stand Your Ground, that “detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.”

8 thoughts on “Polling on Stand Your Ground Continues Looking Good”

  1. It is a classic axiom of law that “hard cases make bad law.” I forget who said it, but, in reference to a proposed castle doctrine/stand your ground type law in Missouri some years back, it was defeated thanks to a large black turnout in St. Louis. The comment I read was that the reason for this was that many of the people who voted against it did so because they had relatives of some degree who were in the robbery business, to put it lightly. They didn’t want their relatives running the risk of getting killed, even though they didn’t really want to be victims and wanted their relatives to be out of the business, but what can you do?
    Something of the same thing might be at work here.

  2. Although I agree with this post and Windy’s comment, I can’t help but think references to race will be taken out of context by a troll and used against this blog. Hope I’m wrong.
    Respectfully, Arnie

    1. Always a risk, but I’m not willing to avoid serious topics because it might be taken out of context by trolls. Certain race topics need to be discussed in this country, and the fact that blacks are more likely to need to defend themselves statistically, and the fact that the justice system is often biased against them, is something I’m willing to stand by in context here.

  3. I’m a crim defense attorney who works in a mixed white/black county and in my experience, blacks aren’t getting unfair treatment. With one or two minor exceptions (out of hundreds of cases), every person I’ve run into (black or white) was arrested because the cops had a ton of evidence they committed a crime. Once in a while, the cops will arrest a scumbag for something he didn’t do or they’ll arrest the wrong guy because the actual guilty party is a smooth talker who misdirected the cops. But 99 percent of the time, black people who end up in jail/prison are there because they suck at getting away with crime.

  4. “…African-Americans are far more likely to need to defend themselves than average. ”

    They’re far more likely to be the perpetrators than average; perpetrators who don’t want their victims to have the benefit of stand your ground laws. That explains their 56% opposition to the law – blacks tend to be the criminals. Black leaders Jackson and Sharpton are extremely opposed to stand your ground because they know who they represent – the black criminals and their supporters who are their constituents.
    It’s a waste of time to rationalize why blacks should support stand your ground. They don’t, and they won’t because of their criminal identity. They tend either to be criminals or to identify with criminals.
    In my town, the cops shot a black convicted criminal who pulled a gun on them. 800 people turned out for the gangbanger’s funeral, but there was much anger and no support for the police from the black community. The cops took an armed convicted criminal off the streets of the black community at the risk of their own lives, but all they got in the way of thanks from the black community was hostility and animosity. Such is the identity that the black community has created for itself by its own actions.
    A majority of African-Americans don’t support stand your ground laws, or any other laws, because the only law that they truly support is the law of the jungle.
    There’s been a rash of shootings lately – four wounded, one dead. If Obama had a son he might look like one of these guys:
    President Choom relates to criminals, but not to the law-abiding, which is not surprising since he used to be a criminal. We need change.

Comments are closed.